How Does an Agent “Earn” Their Commission? When Do I Pay Them?

Lets face it: no one likes to pay commission. It is important to realize, however, that a real estate agent can sometimes obtain a higher selling price than an owner can. Apart from this financial benefit, an agent can also make your selling process easier and ease your mind during the sale–but it doesn’t come free.

When signing the initial listing, a percentage or amount of money will be agreed upon for the commission. That varies from state to state, but most commissions are around five percent. If the home or property never sells, the realtor will get no money at all and if it does sell the realtor will get their commission at closing.

When the property is ready to close you will go to the title company and sign papers. As the seller, it won’t take very long to do this. This is usually the time to give the realtor the keys so they can give them to the new owner. The title company will explain how all the proceeds from the sell were dispersed and then give you your check. At this time, it is possible to see the exact amount the commission will be. The realtor will receive the commission after the deal is completed and the home has recorded at the county offices. Most people are pleased with the results and feel the commission was money well spent.

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